47. Through the Woods.

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Through the Woods.

Havillah's trek through the woods continued and with every step that she took forward her mind continued to ponder this new discovery. She had heard of it before, the fading of the newborns whose first robes had always been a cream white, the purest glory in that day and age which Faded  when the children came of age sometime during their second year. With ascension in rank, the colours would change, their robes transformed to reflect the potency of their Virtue and thus the occurrence that they called a Fading.

"You can't tell me more about it, can you?" She questioned her Guide even though she knew very well what his answer would be.

"Not yet." Her Guide confirmed her thoughts. "After all a journey is only as important as its objective. You cannot truly appreciate all that you accomplish, all its worth until you have walked the end and discovered it."  Havillah mulled over the words in her mind even as she shook her head at the empty space that was beside her. Empty, not because there was no one there, but rather, because she was not yet enlightened whatever that meant. All in all the words sounded weird. They were not straight forward, neither were they cryptic enough to warrant a moment of awe. Instead, the words were just...there. As if they had just been constructed for the sake of being spoken.

"Mmm...Somehow I was expecting something more flowery than that."

"Like you can do better than that?"

Havillah stilled at the challenge that had just been issued in his words before proceeding to shrug her shoulder after a little thought.

"I guess...I can if I put my mind into it." She finally told him.

"This is not Poetry." Her guide dismissed her even as her mind work d to overtime in an attempt to come up with a better more cryptic version of the words that had just been spoken. "What is important is that you understand its sentiments. Otherwise, you might as well be deaf to the words that have been spoken to you. To hear is one thing. To understand is another and to comprehend the message, that is what will bring about true change and also your enlightenment." 

The words flowed, the lesson changing and at the end of it all, Havillah was left feeling more confused than she had been before. What did he want? For her to know or to understand? What was she supposed to change into and what was this journey that she had to walk? Enlightenment? Did that mean understanding or did he mean that by the end of it all she would finally be able to see him? Havilalh was just walking and yet, she knew not the path that she had taken nor the destination to which it would lead her. What was she even doing? What was the purpose of it all? Would she continue to walk in the dark with just a candle to light her path? She mused.

"This has gone on long enough." Her Guide interrupted her mental barrage to repeat the words he had spoken earlier. "Is it South or West? Through the Forest or across it, For you have long lost your way and are heading down the wrong path."

"I thought the journey is as important as the destination." She replied quite sassily, smiling at the way she had managed to twist his own words and use them against him.

"Well...I cannot stop you if your intention is to spend another night in the canopies. That is a good lesson as any and you will not find me protesting. However, the sooner you move forward the faster we will get this over with."

"Fine." Havillah mumbled even as she rose up above the canopy to survey her surroundings. "How long have I been walking off course?" She asked him, but received no answer in return. Why he did so? She could not tell. Just as she could not tell why he had attached himself to her and was now leading her on what she felt was a wild goose chase.Havillah grumbled some more,but quietly to herself and continued to look out into the western horizon or what she assumed to be western horizon as that was where the sun seemed to be heading.

The end, she thought with a small smile now playing upon her lips. If truly the world was round like they had taught her in her preparatory days and like she also suspected now that she had seen it with her own eyes, would not that mean that she would end up coming back to the same spot? That is, assuming that she was taking a straight line in her journey around the globe.

A canopy dweller called out from a distance and Havillah shook her head ridding herself of the daydream that had distracted her again. She needed to keep going west. To her destination. Her end even though she was not familiar with where she was going nor did she know the layout of the land that was spread out before her. She was going west just because that seemed to be the way that was the other way from the sea, but there was also northwards and southwards and the other directions in between. In fact, if she was being truly honest with herself, Havillah knew that she could have found land whichever way she chose to go including eastwards, but she had been afraid. Afraid of what she would find there, of the memories that the sea would evoke. No, she would continue westwards. Even if it meant flying low over the canopy as there were no clouds to shield her from view in the open blue sky.

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